Hailing from Washington, DC, Elene Sallinger first caught the writing bug in 2004 after writing and illustrating several stories for her then four-year-old daughter. Her writing career has encompassed two award-winning children’s stories, a stint as a consumer-education advocate, as well as writing her debut novel, Awakening—a novel of erotic fiction that won the New Writing Competition at the Festival of Romance 2011. Visit Elene online at elenesallinger.wordpress.com.
In Awakening (November 2013), Elene Sallinger brings us two of the most memorable characters in BDSM to date. Claire, a lost soul who can’t shake a masochistic-abusive relationship that lasted 10-years too long, and Evan, a sexy bookshop owner and dominant who is still getting over the loss of his wife to cancer.
Claire Ryan, 35, confused, and alone, misunderstands her own desires and joins a local book club for romance readers, where she reads her way through the shop’s erotica shelf yearning to accept and fulfill her sexual fantasies.
The minute Claire walks into Evan Lang’s bookshop, she arouses every protective instinct Evan ever had. After weeks of extreme sexual tension, it only takes one touch for him to see how open and responsive she is to his dominant side.
More than just a tale of sizzling sex, as they embark on the path of Claire’s submission, it becomes difficult for Evan to keep his emotional distance. As Claire learns to accept the sensuous woman she is and fully understand her urges, she falls deeper in love with Evan, only to realize he is holding back on his true desires. Will Evan confront his own past in order to save his passionate new love?
Complete with well-drawn characters who confront life’s most traumatic pitfalls, Awakening reveals the true vulnerabilities in adult relationships, showing how two people can learn to trust and love again.
Praise for Awakening:
“If Fifty Shades of Grey intrigued you, Awakening will take you to a whole new level of desire, submission, and unforgettable romance.”
—Judge, UK’s Festival of Romance Contest
“Exquisitely beautiful, touchingly heart-wrenching, and hedonistic enough to keep your body on fire.”
—Coffee Time Romance
BBLR: When writing do you have a playlist of music you like to listen to? What are a couple songs on it?
ELENE: I'm one of those people that if I hear music with lyrics, I inevitably end up singing along rather than concentrating, so I cannot have anything with lyrics playing when I write. That being said, I don't like classical music enough to play it often, so I listen to what I call Fusion Instrumental. I have a Pandora station I've created with artists like Lindsey Stirling, Nuttin' But Stringz, The Piano Guys, and sountracks from movies such as The Chronicles of Narnia, Hero, The Last Samurai, Planet of the Apes, Apocalypto, etc. This music has a defiant and urgent tone, while still being completely instrumental.
BBLR: What do you do when you think nobody is watching?
ELENE: Sing. I can't carry a tune, but I love to sing. So when no one is around, I crank up the tunes and belt out my favorites.
BBLR: What was your favorite childhood book?
ELENE: Anything by Katherine Kurtz in the Deryni series. I read them all and loved every single one. I crushed hard on Kelson, the main character.
BBLR: What is your favorite addition to chocolate?
ELENE: Mint. I love peppermint patties and adding peppermint schnapps to hot chocolate.
BBLR: Besides your own, what is one of your favorite series to keep up with?
ELENE: The Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J.R. Ward. I adore those brothers and want very much to get down with Vishous.
BBLR: What do you think you would be doing if you weren't writing?
ELENE: Teaching. In fact, I'm pursuing an MFA in creative writing to do just that in conjunction with my writing.
BBLR: What is something you do to de-stress?
ELENE: Knit. It's an extremely meditative act. In fact, I read an article recently about how some Buddhists agree that knitting could be considered a form of meditation.
BBLR: We all know about muses...what do you think inspires you to allow your creative juices flowing?
ELENE: Hmmm … that's harder to answer than it seems. I keep writing because I still have stories to tell. Every day new scenarios and characters percolate in my brain. As long as they keep coming, I'll keep writing.